How to run Cisco VPN over EVDO when you’ve got VMWare Fusion installed

Well I finally got one of those EVDO cards, specifically a Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 that fits nicely in the Express Card slot of my MacBook Pro. It works great pretty much everywhere I go, but there’s one thing that’s bugged me: the Cisco VPN would drop when I was on EVDO, just a few seconds after I connected.

At first, I fixed it by upgrading to a newer version of the Cisco VPN client. That fixed some issues with Parallels. All was good until I also installed VMWare Fusion. (Note that this is all on Mac OS X 10.4.10.) But today I figured out what you need to do (thanks to Michael Renner for the tip in the VMWare Community):

Cisco VPN logo
1. Download the latest Cisco VPN client. As of this writing, the best available is Fortunately, MacUpdate is hosting downloads of Cisco VPN

2. Go into Terminal and run:

sudo /Library/Application\\ Support/VMware\\ Fusion/ --stop

This has the side-effect of disabling VMWare Fusion. I think what’s happening is a conflict in the kernel extensions.

3. Start up Cisco VPN, connect and enjoy.

4. Either immediately after or later when you need VMWare Fusion, you can go back and run

sudo /Library/Application\\ Support/VMware\\ Fusion/ --start

to re-enable it.

(Updated 3/10/2008: Ensured that the backslashes in the shell commands are available to be copied from your browser – they were getting stripped out by the blog.)

6 Replies to “How to run Cisco VPN over EVDO when you’ve got VMWare Fusion installed”

  1. Hi Luis,

    I was wondering if you’re still seeing this issue with VMware Fusion 1.1? Thanks!

  2. Bhavesh,

    I haven’t tried VMWare Fusion 1.1 yet. I’ll probably check it out once its out of beta.

  3. Thanks for the tip… works great for me using a Novatel X20 w/ VMWare 1.1 on Leopard.


  4. You are a Genius, I can’t thank you enough for this tip!! It works great.

    I had the same problem using a CCU-650 USB EVDO card in Thailand (CAT Telecom) – this has solved it. I had reverted to my Windows laptop because of this issue!

  5. Update: VMWare 1.1 seems to solve the problem completely, no more starting/stopping VMWare, Cisco VPN 4.9.01 (0100) just connects. Kudos to VMWare, the latest Parallels has the same problem and it’s not fixed as of yet.

  6. Second Update: Nope, VMWare 1.1 does not fix this, still have to use the workaround.

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